Articles | Volume 59, issue 3
Arch. Anim. Breed., 59, 337–344, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/aab-59-337-2016
Arch. Anim. Breed., 59, 337–344, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/aab-59-337-2016

Original study 14 Jul 2016

Original study | 14 Jul 2016

Multivariate characterization of morphological traits in West African cattle sires

Amadou Traoré1, Delphin O. Koudandé2, Iván Fernández3, Albert Soudré4, Isabel Álvarez3, Siaka Diarra5, Fousseyni Diarra5, Adama Kaboré1, Moumouni Sanou1, Hamidou H. Tamboura1, and Félix Goyache3 Amadou Traoré et al.
  • 1INERA, 04 BP 8645 Ouagadougou 04, Burkina Faso
  • 2INRAB Benin, 01 BP 884 RP Cotonou, Benin
  • 3SERIDA-Deva, Camino de Rioseco 1225, 33394 Deva-Gijón, Asturias, Spain
  • 4Université de Koudougou, BP 376 Koudougou, Burkina Faso
  • 5IPR-IFRA Bamako (Mali), BP 06 Koulikoro, Bamako, Mali

Abstract. A total of 183 adult sires belonging to nine West African cattle breeds sampled in 67 villages of Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin were assessed for 16 body measurements and 18 qualitative traits. Within type of cattle (zebu, sanga or taurine), the different breeds analysed showed large differences in body measurements. In general, taurine breeds had lower average values than the zebu breeds while sanga cattle tended to have intermediate values. Principal component analysis identified three factors characterising body measurements. Factor 1 summarised the information provided by those traits characterising the size of the individuals and explained 59.0 % of the variability. Factor 2 tended to gather information characterising the body width and explained 8.0 % of the variation. Less representative, Factor 3 (6.6 % of the variability) had no clear interpretation. Qualitative traits did not allow to distinguish among either cattle groups or breeds. Two Correspondence Analysis Dimensions computed on qualitative traits (explaining 26.2 and 15.5 % of the variability, respectively) did not allow to differentiate between zebu, sanga or taurine cattle breeds. Our results confirm that, in the framework of a general appearance, body measurements are the main criteria for differentiating West African cattle breeds. Furthermore, the current research has not allowed to identify breeding preferences on qualitative type traits in West African cattle sires. Therefore, homogenisation of the appearance of individuals within cattle breed is not expected.

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Short summary
Body traits (16 body measurements and 18 qualitative traits) have been analysed in 183 adult sires belonging to nine West African cattle breeds via multifactorial methods to ascertain breeding preferences of African farmers. No clear patterns of homogenisation of the appearance of individuals within cattle breed could be assessed. Since no selection programmes exist and unsupervised matings are the rule, differentiation among African livestock breeds cannot be assessed in European terms.